Mining Publication: Impact of Deformable Materials and Convergence on the Transverse Load Capacity of Mine Ventilation Stoppings
Deformable materials are sometimes added to ventilation stopping constructions to prevent damage caused by convergence in coal mines. However, adding deformable materials can significantly reduce the capacity of a stopping to resist transverse loading. As part of its mining health and safety program, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has conducted research on the effect of various materials with different deformation properties on the transverse loading capability of a stopping wall. Based on a three-point hinge method of failure, a half-wall method of testing in the NIOSH Mine Roof Simulator was used to simulate full-scale wall behavior. This simulated the fracture initiation and eventual failure of the stoppings from transverse loading. The impact of the modulus of elasticity of various deformable materials was examined in this study. A polystyrene foam block with a low modulus of elasticity, which is commonly used as a deformable material, was shown to degrade the transverse load capacity of the stopping by as much 95%. Other materials with higher modulus of elasticity preserved more of the transverse load capacity of the stopping, but were not able to absorb as much convergence. This paper presents the results of a parametric study that quantifies the impact of various deformable materials in block stopping construction under transverse load conditions.